This was the first game I attended this year, and I can't imagine a better way to start. When we decided to go to this game, it was based on two things. 1) First game of the season where the forecast was for sunny and not freezing, and 2) Bedard. Neither of those things worked out. Bedard "injured his hip", and it was cold and rainy.
I spent the first half of the game sitting in left field behind my new favorite Oriole, Luke Scott. There weren't a ton of people in those sections, but they were loud and supportive of our new left fielder. He got an appreciative Luuuke when coming out to the field for the first time, and each time he made a play. He seemed to enjoy the attention as well. He acknowledged the crowd with a glove wave and turned and gave us a nice smile when someone yelled, "I would have traded you for Tejada straight up!"
At the end of the 6th inning we moved down to the first base side to get another vantage point, and got there just in time to see Luke Scott's double and hear the Luuukes from all around the stadium. He is quickly endearing himself to the fans, that's for sure. By the time he came up in the ninth the Luuuukes from the relatively small crowd were so loud that you could barely hear him announced as he walked to the plate.
Not so good at winning fans? That would be Aubrey Huff. At his introduction he got just a few boos, but with each at bat they seemed to get louder. I found it pretty distasteful. I'm not a huge fan of the guy, but it's time to let it go.
The 9th inning was, as you can imagine, pretty much the most awesome thing ever. I pretty much expected to just watch the O's go three up, three down and go home. The crowd was 100% into it. It was totally electric. From Markakis' double to Little Luis' game winning hit, my heart was pounding and the crowd was great. I thought we were pretty loud for being so small in number. When the game ended with Luis getting mobbed in the center of the infield, I didn't want to go home. I just wanted to stay at Camden Yards with the celebrating fans and players. Sometimes I wonder why I follow a team like this, when so often it feels like work instead of play. But days like this make it all worth it.
Some random things from the game:
The ushers all around seemed so much nicer than I remember. Something has definitely changed about them. I was able to move around the stadium with no trouble and sit wherever I wanted. In years past it could be the 8th inning with 15 people left in the stands and they'd keep you out of the "good" seats as though their lives depended on it.
You might be interested to know that Steve Traschel, Kevin Millar, and Brian Roberts prefer the Beastie Boys, while Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, and Jeremy Guthrie prefer the Beach Boys! Adam Jones prefers neither.
The new scoreboards are very nice. Nothing really groundbreaking, but to anyone who saw the old version of graphics (including the pulsing TODD, my favorite), it's like night and day.